LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Just a few years ago, crumbling cement, steps, and seats filled Lac du Flambeau's Indian Bowl. Now, a major reconstruction project is halfway done. It will hopefully give people from all over a chance to learn about Native American culture and traditions once again.
"We increase that sense of pride in our community," said Director of Planning and Development Emerson Coy.
Coy still remembers how the old Indian Bowl used to look like.
"It was used in bad shape before that and it was sad," said Coy.
For more than 60 years, LDF's Indian Bowl has been a place to experience traditions and culture.
"I grew up dancing down here years ago since I was a little girl. [Probably when I was] five-years-old," said Indian Bowl President Georgine Brown.
But after a lot of wear and tear over the years, the Indian Bowl needed an upgrade. That meant more than just a new space.
"[It helps] to enhance the culture and enhance the presence of Native Americans in our wonderful Northwoods," said Coy.
"When I look out here I just get this overwhelming happiness," said Brown.
Phase One of the reconstruction project is complete, which added new seating, a dance floor, and concession stands. Now, the tribe is working on adding a cultural center, which will take about two years.
"In that facility we will have a gift shop, galleries, art galleries, and classrooms to teach the arts and crafts," said Brown.
It's a project that has been in the works for many years and will cost just over $3 million.
"We're just very excited at this time in this new beginning for us," said Coy.
"It's really exciting to have such a beautiful venue in our little community to showcase events for the whole Northwoods and any tourists [and] guests that may come to visit us."
Once all the seating is put in, Brown estimates the Indian Bowl should be able to hold about 1,000 people.
"We have a 1,000 amps of electricity into the system so even a big band would be capable of coming here if we just put up a portable stage on our grounds and put some more seats up we can sit 1,500 people," said Coy.
The new Indian Bowl will be available for community use, but can also hold larger concerts.
If you'd like to donate or learn more about the project click the link below.
Lac du Flambeau Indian Bowl